Students To Give ‘Timely’ Voice to the Experience of War in Staged Readings

The experiences of combatants and civilians during wartime will be given voice when Yale students present a staged reading, “War in Five Voices: from Troy to Now,” on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26.

The readings will be held 5:15-6:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Jonathan Edwards College Theater, 68 High St.; and 4:15-5:30 p.m. on Friday in Rm. 101 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St. Both performances, sponsored by the Theater Studies Program, are free and open to the public.

The readings — chosen and directed by Murray Biggs, adjunct associate professor of English and theater studies — are drawn from a variety of texts: poems, short excerpts from plays and films, letters, memoirs, proclamations, trials, oral testimony and songs. They range in time from Homer’s “Iliad” through Shakespeare, to the U.S. Civil War, both World Wars, Vietnam and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“A program like this has never seemed more timely,” says Biggs. “The emphasis of the readings is less on military action than on its manifold effects on individuals — whether combatants, civilians, or those left behind — as well as on occupied or targeted peoples.”

The program arises in part out of two undergraduate courses taught by Biggs, “The Drama of War” and “The Cinema of War,” the second of which will be offered again in the fall.

The five readers of “War” are Joseph Alessi, Daniel Amerman and Danielle Frimer, all Yale College seniors majoring in theater studies; actor-singer Brian Earp, also a Yale senior; and Caroline Van Zile, a 2006 graduate of Yale College now studying at Yale Law School.

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